• Ishani Nandedkar

Tale 1: The Devil's Blessing

"We are never blessed without reason. It's not because of anything that we have done,or anything we deserve. We're given a blessing to share with others. That's why we're here."

It was the February of 2003, oddly cold for that time of the year . I had just come back from Delhi after having represented my school in the Republic Day Parade dance competition. We had won the second prize and had received praise from the President of India himself.

It was a dream come true for me and I expected myself to be thrilled beyond measure, but something was not quite right. I had lost a lot of weight and felt tired all the time. My mother thought that it was the hectic practice schedule in Delhi that had caused it. I would keep drinking glucose water as a remedy for the tiredness and this went on for half a month.

It was March and my grandmother was in town to congratulate me as I'd made the whole family proud in Delhi. But she immediately noticed that something was wrong. She thought that I looked pale and the weight loss wasn't healthy (Granma's wisdom did save my life afterall). After a series of tests the family doctor admitted me to the ER and my parents were told that my blood sugar level was in the 700s (normal blood sugar ranges from 80-120). Nobody understood what it meant at the time. I was on IV fluids and insulin drip in the hospital thinking that it was because of dehydration that I was admitted.

Mom and Dad cried for a week, and the great achievement and joy of winning in the Republic Day Parade became a thing of the past. "Your daughter will have to take four insulin injections a day for the rest of her life", was what the doctor informed my family. Everyone was in shock but I knew that I had big dreams and I could not let some pricks to my thigh destroy them.

I call it The Devil's Blessing when I see it in retrospect. It was bestowed upon me by the devil because, duh, your pancreas doesn't kill itself for fun, and, it is a blessing because I realize now how fragile life is. I cannot take it for granted and I was given a second chance at life because there is a higher purpose to serve. Life is so short and it must be lived to benefit the life of atleast half the world, if not the whole of it.

.... To be continued

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